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Young to DL; Nakajima to Sacramento; Taylor Recalled

May 4, 2013

Chris Young who has not played since April 29th, when he went 2-for-4 in the A’s 19 inning win over the Angels, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left quad strain. Young who has in many ways been supplanted by Seth Smith as the fourth outfielder in the A’s outfield mix, is off to a very slow start with his new club hitting just .172/.277/.391 in his 101 plate appearances this year. His .172 BABIP is largely responsible for the lowered numbers as he has featured a strong .218 ISO with four home runs and five stolen bases for a total of 0.1 WAR. In his stead the A’s recalled Michael Taylor who is hitting .329/.380/.616 with five home runs in 79 plate appearances at Sacramento. Granted hitting at Sacramento or Triple-A Lehigh Valley when he was a member of the Phillies organization hasn’t ever been Taylor’s problem, hitting at the MLB level has. This year is no different thus far as he went 0-for-6 in his brief stint up with the big league club. Taylor “sort of” can play all three outfield spots giving the A’s the same versatility as Young but is primarily a corner outfielder.

Hiroyuki Nakajima, who I felt was a bad signing and who during the spring did nothing to dissuade me of that fact hitting .167/.286/.190 this spring in 49 plate appearances, is headed to Sacramento for a “rehab assignment” where he will be staying for an apparent indefinite amount of time. The A’s have received a .306/.383/.469 slash line with a .372 wOBA and 138 wRC+ out of shortstop this year which is Nakajima’s natural position. Out of second base where conceivably Jed Lowrie could be moved to make room for Nakajima, he has played there the past few nights, the A’s have just got a .236/.302/.323 line with a .278 wOBA and 75 wRC+ still a number better than what Nakajima has put up thus far in his short audition. The fact he is signed to a two-year $6.5M deal means we will see him, but I am glad to see that the A’s aren’t just letting the money or the intrigue dictate where he is playing but instead are allowing the results on the field dictate when he will be in Oakland. I had the same concerns last season with Manny Ramirez and the A’s were prudent and waited to see if he’d be ready instead of just knee-jerk inserting him in the lineup so it is great to see the same patience and reticence being utilized again.

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